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Hagan’s wife to seek his seat

Published: Wed, October 23, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

ohio house

By David Skolnick



State Rep. Robert F. Hagan can’t run next year for his Ohio House seat, but he’s trying to keep it in the family.

Hagan, of Youngstown, D-58th, filed a designation of treasurer Tuesday with the Mahoning County Board of Elections on behalf of his wife, Michele Lepore-Hagan.

Lepore-Hagan began circulating nominating petitions Tuesday, and said she plans to get the needed signatures to file with the board on Nov. 7, two days after the upcoming general election.

Her husband was the first person to sign her nominating petitions.

“I’ve thought about this for a long time,” she said. “I want to help people and represent our interests at the state level. I’ve been in the world of politics for so many years. I know it’s difficult. I know how challenging it will be. I’ve always had an interest in serving. It’s a noble profession.”

Hagan told The Vindicator in mid-August that his wife, the director of Youngstown State University’s Performing Arts Series, was “seriously considering” a bid to replace him, and that he would back her candidacy.

As for Hagan, he said he’s running in 2016 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Rob Portman.

Also, Rachel Hanni, an outgoing Youngstown school board member, said Tuesday she’s “strongly considering” a run for the open House seat next year. She said she will have a decision in the next month or two.

“There’s not a strong sense of bipartisanship in our country,” said Hanni, a teacher at St. Stephen School in Niles. “But I’m capable of seeing things from different perspectives.”

Her father, Don L. Hanni III, is a former Youngstown school board member who lost the 2010 Democratic primary to Hagan for the Ohio House seat. Her grandfather is the late Don L. Hanni Jr., a former county Democratic Party chairman.

Youngstown Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, and Michael E. O’Hara of Youngstown, who unsuccessfully ran in 2004 for the Ohio House, have previously announced plans to run.

Youngstown Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th, and Cynthia McWilson of Youngstown, who lost the city’s 5th Ward council race in 2003, are also considering seeking the elected position.

The 58th is a strong Democratic district. Those running and considering running all plan to do so in the Democratic primary in May 2014. The filing deadline for the primary is Feb. 5.

Hagan ran unopposed last year and is finishing his fourth-consecutive term in the Ohio House. Because of the state’s term-limits law Hagan cannot run next year for another two-year term.

Last year’s redistricting made a small but key change to the makeup of this House district.

The district still includes all of Youngstown, Struthers, Campbell, Lowellville and Coitsville. The district used to have nine of Austintown’s 40 precincts. Because of the district’s shrinking population, it now has 36 Austintown precincts.

To date, no one from outside Youngstown has declared their candidacy for the seat.


1michael1757(279 comments)posted 12 months ago

The only reason we can't keep him in,is because of term limits,& we liked the job he's done,so why not pass the baton to his wife? I'm sure she has the same values, & agrees on more issues than disagrees,so why not.Wheres the petition,I'll sign it.

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2ytownsteelman(631 comments)posted 12 months ago

The idea of term limits is to keep people from amassing too much power. Turning it over to the spouse after being term limited out is nothing but a trick to get around the law.

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3UticaShale(854 comments)posted 12 months ago

The reason why the Valley has been the armpit of Ohio for so long, throw the bum out!

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4republicanRick(1168 comments)posted 12 months ago

Hagan has no chance against Portman in 2016 because the rest of the state sees what a blowhard buffoon Hagan is. He accomplishes nothing for us.
Michelle thinks she is Lindsey Lohan and loves the attention. She is not interested in helping other people, only in her ego.

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5Old_School(39 comments)posted 12 months ago

Apparently Hagan has not sucked off of the public tit's enough. He needs more so his wife will take over that duty. When is enough enough? A strong candidate from Austintown could win this seat.

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6endthismess(315 comments)posted 12 months ago

Maybe once Bobby gets out of office he'll have time to go get a haircut.

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7Roger_Thornhill(570 comments)posted 12 months ago

George Wallace did the same thing with his wife Lurlene.

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8walter_sobchak(1922 comments)posted 12 months ago

Just what we need! Another Hagan feeding from the public trough. I hope she has better pugilist skills than Buckwheat.

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9granpaharry(6 comments)posted 12 months ago

I agree with Flick. PLEASE......someone else run for this position!

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10Silence_Dogood(1356 comments)posted 12 months ago

Walter your statement is just a tad incorrect. She has been feeding at the public trough for quite some time now, hubby got her one of those cushy jobs at YSU years ago , no doubt as a political favor.

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11JoeFromHubbard(1065 comments)posted 12 months ago

> >Hagan’s wife to seek his seat < <

That headline has certain undertones that remind one of Youngstown politics.

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12AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 12 months ago

Hagan is NOT turning his position over to his wife. Only the voters can do that. If you people would quit whining and run against her, then maybe she will not win the elected position.

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13formerdemliberal(182 comments)posted 12 months ago

Coming to your local voting precinct next year "Bride of Liberalstein". It's a family horror story. Rated "LF" for "Lunatic Fringe".

The overall Dem lineup running for the House seat, particularly Hagan and Hanni, reads like a "who's who" of Mahoning Democratic Party incompetents who have helped run this valley into the ground for 50 years. As Simon and Garfunkel once sang, "Anyway you look at it, you lose."

With as many Austintown precincts coming into the district, perhaps there's a rare opportunity of new blood coming in. How about it, Mark Munroe? Ready to show some leadership of your party or are you too busy getting the racino ready for your own special interest, Bruce Zoldan?

Wonder how Bobby's senate campaign is going. Maybe someday Bobby could actually rise to become a gnat on the state political radar.

Or more likely, his wife will hire him as her administrative assistant crony if she wins the House seat.

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